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How an Applicant Tracking System Can Improve Your Hiring

5 min read

Hiring the right people is crucial to your company’s success. You need to build a team of people who have the skills and drive to contribute to your organization’s growth.

But for as important as hiring is, it can be a long and complicated process. You must involve different people – from both inside and outside your company – and carry out various steps to find the person who best fits your needs.

Fortunately, the right recruiting and hiring solution can simplify the process. In this guide, we’ll explore how an applicant tracking system (ATS) can help you hire the best people for your company’s job openings.

Consider candidates who have previously applied

If your company is growing and focused on hiring, you’ve likely accumulated many applicants over time. These are people who are interested in working for your company and believe they have the skills and qualities you are seeking.

However, it’s often easier to post a job opening and start collecting fresh applicants instead of considering people who have already applied for other positions. This is because reviewing every candidate you’ve collected is time-consuming and inefficient. If you keep paper records, you’ll have to dig through your filing cabinet and pull out the resumes that match the positions you need to fill. And even if your applications are stored in your email or online document storage, you might find those systems lack the functionality to search for specific terms in candidate resumes.

Using an applicant tracking system, you can maintain a database of every applicant that is easy to search through. An unique candidate profile will be created when a person applies to your company for the first time. If you don’t hire them but still like their background, you achieve their profile in your database for future consideration. As new positions open, you can efficiently comb through all your profiles and find someone who meets the job’s criteria.

Zero in on the right candidates

Let’s say you need to hire a graphic designer to join your team in Boston. Instead of painstakingly going through paper resumes or your email for every Boston-based graphic designer who has ever submitted an application, you can simply search your applicant tracking system.

Quality application tracking systems have “Boolean Search Functionality,” meaning you can combine terms using “AND,” “OR,” and “NOT” qualifiers. Going back to our graphic designer in Boston example, you can search for terms like “Graphic Designer” AND “Boston” to zero in on all the candidates that meet the experience and location requirements.

Replicate your established workflow in the applicant tracking system

Finding qualified candidates is only the start of your hiring process. You also need to involve other people who can review resumes, participate in interviews and ultimately give their two cents on the different candidates under consideration.

Your company likely already has an established workflow for hiring and your applicant tracking system should have the flexibility to support that process. Let’s say you’re hiring stages are a phone screening with the recruiter, then a more in-depth phone interview with the hiring manager, followed by in-person interviews with different team members. You can setup that workflow in your system and assign each stage to the different people involved.

Your applicant tracking system can also be your internal communication hub for your team. Everyone will receive automated notifications when it’s their turn to get involved and give feedback. They can reply directly through email and their comments will automatically be imported into the right candidate profile in your applicant tracking system.

Keep track of candidates as they progress

It can be tough to keep tabs on all your applicants as they start participating in the interview process. You want to keep a steady pace so positions get filled in a timely manner and candidates have a good experience with your company.

An applicant tracking system will give you insight into the status of your job openings and the people who have applied for them. You can drill down to the candidate level and see the positions they’ve applied for and the stage they’re at in the workflow you setup. You can also evaluate specific jobs and see how many candidates have applied and where each one is at.

Your applicant tracking system will give you an at-glance overview of all your pending jobs and candidates with the ability to narrow in on specific details. This functionality lets you identify stages that are stalled so you can respond accordingly and keep your hiring moving forward.

Ask your candidates the right questions

The modern application process goes beyond just submitting a resume and cover letter. Before you contact a candidate for an initial interview, you should have some idea of how they’ll approach the job if hired.

An applicant tracking system will allow you to include custom questions on your online applications. You can ask general questions like “Why are you interested in this role?” You can also include more in-depth critical thinking and aptitude questions to gauge your candidates’ abilities.

Asking the right questions at the start of the application process prevents you from wasting the candidate’s time and your company’s time if the person is not the right fit. Each applicant’s answers will also be stored in their candidate profile, so you can later search for key terms when considering them for future jobs.

Get time back

An applicant tracking system is the key to a streamlined recruiting and hiring process. Instead of getting caught up reviewing resumes and scheduling interviews, you can devote your time and energy to finding the best possible person for your company.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our blog post “A Tale of Two Hiring Processes: How to Streamline Your Hiring”

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Trakstar is a multi-product HR software provider helping organizations put the people back in people management. Develop and align your staff through better recruiting and applicant tracking, performance management, and learning management. For a more integrated solution to talent management, check out our website and request a live demonstration today.

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